Do trees modify their environment?
The course work I am doing is to investigate and test the two-following hypothesis. The first one is ” Do tree’s modify their environment”, and the second one is “Differences in woodland ecosystems are the results of different management strategies”. These first hypothesis means do trees change their surroundings, and the second on is different woodland surroundings means different types of management. To help answer these two hypotheses I will break them down into two or three smaller ones. Also I will use the data I collected in the woodlands of Wye valley I show this data in forms of table’s graphs and pie charts. Wye Valley. Wye valley is place in Wales were 50 pupils went in the summer for a residential.
We all went to Russell’s Inclosure, which is on the border of Wales and England. This is a part of the Forest of Dean. The forest is very old and covers over 477 hectares of the land. The forest is well kept and preserved as it managed by the Royal society for the protection of birds. In the woods of Russell’s Inclosure is where had collected most of our data and statistics. I have marked out where it is on the following page. When we were in the woods we took many a lot of data down. We had a twelve-meter transact and for every four metres we wrote down the ground cover, we got the ground cover by placing a square quadrate down on the floor. We had used a lot of apparatus out in the woods to get our results.
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We had a thermometer for taking the temperature and a soil moisture tester to find out the moisture of the soil. We also found out the pH of the soil, we did this by taking a little bit of soil putting it in a test tube and adding some universal indicator and bromine sulphate to it and then stirring it. We than found out the pH by looking at the colour it produced at the end. While in the woods we found out the ages of the trees. By using a measuring tape and finding out the circumference and then dividing it by 2.5 or 3.13 depending if it was in the deciduous wood or coniferous. DO TREES MODIFY THEIR ENVIRONMENT? The first hypothesis I am going to be investigating is “Where there are coniferous trees the soil moisture will be less than where there are deciduous trees and fewer plants on the floor”. To help me answer this hypothesis I am going to test a couple of smaller hypothesis.
In coniferous woods there will be less soil moisture and fewer plants, than in a deciduous wood. This is because they are both different types of tree’s,. Coniferous trees are pine tree’s that grow needles and grow straight toward the sun. They also planted in rows so it becomes much easier for them to be chopped down. They are chopped down because many people buy them as Christmas trees and it is easy money for the forest management. Deciduous trees grow up to the sunlight but their leaves spread out forming a canopy to the under layer of the forest. So this means the plants on the ground don’t get as much sunlight because the canopy formed has an umbrella like effects it blocks out most perspiration water and sunlight.
Coniferous trees are evergreen this means that they don’t loose their needles all year around and they intercept the rain much well than a deciduous tree. This is because when they are planted they are all in rows together and there isn’t many gaps left. Deciduous trees are planted at random so gaps are left and there are some open spaces. So this means that rain can come through in the deciduous woods. Also the ground will be moister then compared to coniferous wood. More plants will be growing on the grounds of the deciduous wood then of a coniferous because plants need sunlight, water and carbon dioxide to grow. Coniferous trees block out the sunlight and rainwater coming to the trees. Photosynthesis can’t take place if water and sunlight is coming to the plants so plant can’t grow. Deciduous woods have gaps and loose their leaves in the autumn season so they can get enough of their needs to ground photosynthesise.
My pie chart number 12 “Deciduous wood at 12 meters” clearly shows more sunlight and water comes through also chart number 10. They both show a high percentage of grass on the ground. My chart numbers 1 to 4 clearly shows there is minimum sunlight and water coming through and the high percentage of moss on the ground shows this. There is up 90% of moss growing in that 12 meter transacts, and moss only grows in dark and damp areas. My results and charts help me in proving this hypothesis.
GROUND COVER OF THE WOODS.
Why it could be found?
Why it maybe missing?
Trees in the area people taking them off, animals or seasonal trees.
Trees chopped or in coniferous woods.
In the woods on the floor.
Management taken over built shops, parking spaces, etc….
Area is dark and damp
Area is light and dry.
Light, water, and no trees.
No light, water.
Season, management and animals taking them down.
Management, no animals in area.
Sunlight, water, management
Animals eating it, no sunlight or water.
Trees season, age, human and animal contact.
Coniferous woods decomposed.
This table above shows what we saw on the ground in the woods. It also shows why it could have been found and why it couldn’t have been found. Coniferous and deciduous woods ground cover compared and shown in a table.
DEAD LEAVES. 60%
GRASS 70 ~%
GRASS 90 %
GRASS 85 %
LONG GRASS 45%
BRACKEN 57 %
LEAF LITTER 35%
LEAF LITTER 15%
LEAF LITTER 20%
DEAD LEAVES 2%
DEAD LEAVES 3%
DEAD LEAVES 20%
TWIGS 10 %
TWIGS 5 %
TWIGS. 3 %
= Coniferous woods.
SOIL 80 %
GRASS 99 %
DEAD LEAVES 15%
DEAD GRASS 36%
DEAD GRASS 10%
DEAD GRASS 50%
GRASS 75 %
GRASS 75 %
DEAD LEAVES 50%
DEAD LEAVES 10 %
DEAD LEAVES 13%
MOSS 6 %
TWIGS 5 %
BRACKEN 5 %
STONES 15 %
BRACKEN 2 %
TWIGS. 2 %
= Coniferous woods. Coniferous and deciduous woods across the path ground cover compared and shown in a table. The dominant cover for coniferous and deciduous woods is grass and soil. The medium cover for the coniferous wood and deciduous wood is grass and dead leaves. The lowest cover for coniferous woods are twigs and for the deciduous woods it is bracken and twigs. The dominant cover for coniferous and deciduous woods across the path is grass and soil.
The mediums cover for the coniferous and deciduous woods across the path are dead grass and dead leaves.
The lowest ground cover for coniferous and deciduous woods across the path is twigs, violet, dead leaves, moss and stones and bracken. The second hypothesis I am going to investigate is ” Were there are coniferous trees it will be darker and lower in temperature compared to that of the deciduous woods. I have predicted this because in the coniferous woods it is darker and lower in temperature because of the way the trees are planted. They are planted in rows and are nicely placed together so they block out most sunlight coming through to the ground of the woods. I also have predicted this because whilst being in the woods I noticed a lot of moss growing. Moss grows in dark and damp places were the temperature is low.
The temperature in the coniferous woods was really low and it wasn’t very warm. The deciduous woods have a higher temperature because the trees are grown in patches because they need a lot of space to grow as there leaves tend to grow following the sun and form a canopy to the under ground. So were there are gaps sunlight can creep through heating the ground. This is also why the deciduous woods have a better ground cover then of the coniferous woods.
To prove my prediction I have my results for backup. In my pie charts of the coniferous woods it shows that moss is growing because of the condition are suitable for it to grow. In the deciduous woods minimum moss grows and it is very rare for it to come up on the pie charts, which are all shown on the other pages.
The third hypothesis I am investigating to help me in answering the first of two major hypotheses is “In the coniferous woods there will be more moss growing and in he deciduous woods there will be more bracken growing”.
I have predicted this because moss is a form of bacteria, which grows in dark and damp areas. Bracken is plants, which grow in areas, were enough light is coming through, and the deciduous woods are perfect for bracken to grow in. The trees in the coniferous woods block out most of the sunlight and the rain so bracken doesn’t grow and the temperature also drops because there isn’t any sunlight coming to the ground. So the woods become damp, cold and dark these are the conditions, which moss needs to grow in. Moss doesn’t grow in the deciduous woods because there is plenty of light coming through as the trees are planted in patches. As bracken is a plant it needs light and water to grow and this is why it grows so well in the deciduous woods.
My pie charts help in proving this hypothesis. In the coniferous woods there is plenty of moss growing and the deciduous woods a lot of bracken this is because the conditions in the woods suit the two. There is up to 60 % growing for both plants. If you look at the pie charts on page number___ of the coniferous woods it is very rare for bracken to be growing if it is growing this could be because a tree was cut down or due to wood management.
Conclusion. I believe that trees do modify their environments. This is because of a number of reasons. After breaking the first major hypothesis of two into smaller ones I have found my answer. Also by looking at all my data collected in the woods, which I put into pie charts and graphs and tables.
Also by looking at my pie charts they show a number of different of types of ground cover. This shows that the trees are modifying their environment. One example is if the trees weren’t in the area animals wouldn’t come because their leaves form a canopy, which acts, like a shelter from the rain. Also if the trees weren’t in the areas for example coniferous woods moss wouldn’t be growing or would it be so dark this is proof of the trees changing things around.
Also the ground cover in the deciduous woods a lot of it is leaves and leaf litter this is from the trees being grown in the woods. These are my reasons for believing trees do modify their environment. Because when they are around they change grounds cover, temperature, light coming through to the ground and also soil moisture. Differences in woodland ecosystems are the results of different management strategies. This is the second major hypothesis I will be investigating. The hypothesis is saying that the woodlands are managed in different ways depending on their ecosystems. E.g./ If it is in the coniferous woods or deciduous.
Management means to look after or maintain something. In this case it is the woods. Maintaining the woods mean the people can visit and enjoy it. There are many different types of management and in the woodlands there are four main ones. They are habitat, estate, recreation and community and educational management. The table on page___ shows the different types of management and what they do. When I was in the woods I saw a lot of signs of good and bad management. The good signs were that I was I walking through the woods there were paths for us to follow also fences and gates put up to restrict us going to places that are out of bounds or a danger to us. Also there was sign post put up educating us about the trees and telling a me a little about the surroundings and the history. Another good piece of management was the little area for us to all eat and relax there was shops around and benches for us to eat and relax.
I didn’t really see a lot of bad management when I was in the woods. There were only one or two problems. For instance some signs had come down or were old and you couldn’t read the writing subscripted on it. Also some trees had been cut down or felled and were not moved they were just moved to the side. In the coniferous woods the trees are thinned and felled this is to help the trees to grow and let the stump get bigger this is habitat management, so the animals can have shelter and homes to live in. These are signs of the management change the ecosystems. When in the woods we saw that there were footpaths made for people to walk along, and admire the view of the trees. Also signs and post were set up so we can learn about the trees. Also in the woods there are fences and barricades put up so it stops animal and people going into certain areas. If the animals go in they can harm the trees and affect the woodland.
As there are all these different types of management there is one more that is the honeypot management. This is one place were the people can come and enjoy them selves. There are shops around and picnic areas. This is a good idea as all people are attracted to one place and there are shops and fun things around. This helps, as not many will eat while in the forest and this could lead to less damage done to the forest.
Conclusion. Over all I think that the hypothesis is correct. Because the woods are changing because of the management. The fences and post stop animals going into the woods and destroying plants or trees and it is the same for the humans. The woods are managed in a way so that they can make and the coniferous trees are maintained for Christmas times so they can be sold so the keep them in good condition all year round. The honeypoting is a way to make money and give education to the people and a pleasant place to rest and relax.
I have really enjoyed doing this investigation. This is because I got to go to Wye valley for a week with my friends and enjoy my self and at the same time get vital information my work. I liked collecting the data in the woods as it was fun and I got all data I needed. Even though I got my information I came across many problems. Some of my results were mixed up on my paper and it was very hard to get the results. It took a lot of time and patience as we were out in the fields for a long time and every one and I was getting very tired. The write up I didn’t like, as it was quite difficult. Overall I am pleased with my work and all graphs and charts made for the final write up.